Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My world remains round

In 2005 the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman published ‘The World is Flat, A Brief History of a Globalized World in the 21st century’. And in December 2006 Time Magazine declared ‘You’ as person of the year. The world on this side of the equator remains round. And ‘You’ is not one of us. Friedman claims that due to an increased interconnectivity the world will become more prosperous and peaceful. The world of the previous fine de siècle was interconnected though, which did not prevent the outbreak of WWI and the subsequent great depression. And there is no correlation between globalization and democratization, or the invention of new technology and moral progress. Just as Friedman, Time Magazine is blinded by the sight of another utopia. Grossman writes in Time’s editorial: “It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.” This editorial heralds the new day when digital democracy arrives. But if it arrives it will arrive for a happy few only. Out of six billion earthlings there are only one billion internet users. And most of these can only access the World Wide Web through the slow lane. These people, we, cannot access the latest video on YouTube.

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